- David Underwood
- Category History, Religion
First written at Lifestir.net on 03/2016 #biblehistory
The King James Version (KJV), commonly known as the Authorized Version (AV) or King James Bible (KJB), is an English translation of the Christian Bible for the Church of England begun in 1604 and completed in 1611. First printed by the King’s Printer Robert Barker, this was the third translation into English to be approved by the English Church authorities. The first was the Great Bible commissioned in the reign of King Henry VIII (1535), and the second was the Bishops’ Bible of 1568.
Who Were the King James Translators
One of the first things the new King James did was the calling of the Hampton Court Conference in January of 1604 “for the hearing, and for the determining, things pretended to be amiss in the church.” Here were assembled bishops, clergymen, and professors, along with four Puritan divines, to consider the complaints of the Puritans. Although Bible revision was not on the agenda, the Puritan president of Corpus Christi College, John Reynolds, “moved his Majesty, that there might be a new translation of the Bible, because those which were allowed in the reigns of Henry the eighth and Edward the sixth, were corrupt and not answerable to the truth of the Original.”
Although 54 men were nominated, only forty-seven were known to have taken part in the work of translation. The translators were organized into 6 groups, and met respectively at Westminster, Cambridge and Oxford. Ten at Westminster were assigned Genesis through 2 Kings; seven had Romans through Jude. At Cambridge, eight worked on 1 Chronicles through Ecclesiastes, while seven others handled the Apocrypha. Oxford employed 7 to translate Isaiah through Malachi; eight occupied themselves with the Gospels, Acts, and Revelation.
The King James Version translators took the baton passed on to them by devout men and martyrs who translated before them. Men like John Wycliff, aka “The Morning Star of the Reformation” who was the first to translate the entire Bible into English. Although he only had the Latin Vulgate to work with, you can see his influence on Tyndale’s translation and ultimately the Authorized Version. Like Martin Luther, Dr Wycliff was awakened to the truth through the reading of the scriptures. He spoke out vehemently against the Romish rites and practices that at that time had a stranglehold on the land.
The King James translation was done by 47 scholars, all of whom were members of the Church of England. In common with most other translations of the period, the New Testament was translated from Greek, the Old Testament was translated from Hebrew and Aramaic text, while the Apocrypha were translated from the Greek and Latin. In the Book of Common Prayer (1662), the text of the Authorized Version replaced the text of the Great Bible – for Epistle and Gospel readings – and as such was authorized by Act of Parliament. By the first half of the 18th century, the Authorized Version had become effectively unchallenged as the English translation used in Anglican and Protestant churches. Over the course of the 18th century, the Authorized Version supplanted the Latin Vulgate as the standard version of scripture for English-speaking scholars. With the development of stereotype printing at the beginning of the 19th century, this version of the Bible became the most widely printed book in history, almost all such printings presenting the standard text of 1769 extensively re-edited by Benjamin Blayney at Oxford; and nearly always omitting the books of the Apocrypha. Today the unqualifed title ‘King James Version’ commonly identifies this Oxford standard text, especially in the United States.
The Bible as the Word of Jehovah by the Pen of Man
The Biblical proof of the divine revelation of the text in the Bible is shown in 2 Peter 1:20–21, “First of all you must understand this, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, because no prophecy ever came by the impulse of man, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from Jehovah.” This passage teaches that when you read Scripture, what you are reading does not merely come from a man but also from Jehovah. The Bible is the writing of many different men. But it is also far more than that. Yes, men spoke. They spoke with their own language and style.
Speaking from Jehovah, Moved by the Holy Spirit
First, they spoke from Jehovah. What they have to say is not merely from their own limited mental perspective. They are not the origin of the truth they speak; they are the channel. The truth they speak of through their writings is Jehovah’s truth. Their meaning is Jehovah’s meaning. Second, not only is what they spoke from Jehovah, but how they spoke it is controlled by the Holy Spirit. “Men, moved by the Holy Spirit, spoke from Jehovah.” Jehovah did not simply reveal truth to the writers of Scripture and then depart in hopes that they might communicate it accurately. Peter says that in the very communicating of it they were carried by the Holy Spirit. The making of the Bible was not left to merely human skills of communication; the Holy Spirit himself carried the process to completion. One recent book by three former teachers (LaSor, Hubbard, and Bush,Old Testament Survey, p. 15) puts it like this:
“To assure verbal precision God, in communicating His revelation, must be verbally precise, and inspiration must extend to the very words. This does not mean that God dictated every word. Rather His Spirit so pervaded the mind of the human writer that He chose out of His own vocabulary and experience precisely those words, thoughts and expressions that conveyed God’s message with precision. In this sense the words of the human authors of Scripture can be viewed as the word of God.”
Not Just Prophecy, but All Scripture
Someone might say that 2 Peter 1:20–21 only has to do with prophecy not with all Old Testament Scripture. But look carefully how he argues. In verse 19, Peter says that a prophetic word has been made more sure to him by his experience with Yeshua (Jesus) on the mount of transfiguration. Then, in verses 20–21, he undergirds the authority of this prophetic word by saying it is part of Scripture. Verse 20: “No prophecy of scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation.” Peter is not saying that only prophetic parts of Scripture are inspired by Jehovah. He is saying, we know the prophetic word is inspired precisely because it is a “prophecy of Scripture.” Peter’s assumption is that whatever stands in Scripture is from Jehovah, written by men who were carried along by the Holy Spirit. His teaching is the same as Paul’s in 2 Timothy 3:16, “All scripture is inspired by Jehovah and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.” None of the Old Testament Scriptures came by the impulse of man. All of it is truth from Jehovah as men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from Jehovah.
What About the New Testament Writings?
Did the apostles and their close associates (Mark, Luke, James, Jude, and the writer to the Hebrews) experience divine inspiration as they wrote? Were they “carried” by the Holy Spirit to speak from Jehovah? The Christian church has always answered yes. Yeshua (Jesus) said to his apostles in John 16:12–13, “I have yet many things to say to you but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all truth, for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak, and He will declare to you things that are to come.” Then the apostle Paul confirms this when He says of His own apostolic teaching in 1 Corinthians 2:12–13, “We have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is from Jehovah, that we might understand the gifts bestowed on us by Jehovah. And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit.” In 2 Corinthians 13:3 he said that Christ speaks in him. And in Galatians 1:12 he said, “I did not receive [my gospel] from man nor was I taught it, but it came through a revelation of Yeshua Christos (Jesus Christ).” If we take Paul as our model for what it meant to be an apostle of Christ, then it would be fair to say that the New Testament as well as the Old is not merely from man but also from Jehovah. The writers of the Old Testament and New Testament spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit Is the Divine Author of Scripture
The doctrine that emerges is this: The Holy Spirit is the divine author of all Scripture, and ultimately the absolute authority on the teaching of the Word (1 John 2:27). If this doctrine is true, then the implications are so profound and far-reaching that every part of our lives should be affected.
The Holy Spirit is the author of Scripture, therefore, it is true (Psalm 119:142) and altogether reliable (Hebrews 6:18). It is powerful, working its purpose in our hearts (1 Thessalonians 2:13) and not returning empty to the One who sent it (Isaiah 55:10–11). It is pure, like silver refined in a furnace seven times (Psalm 12:6). It is sanctifying (John 17:17). It gives life (Psalm 119:37, 50, 93, 107; John 6:63;Matthew 4:4). It makes wise (Psalm 19:7; 119:99–100). It gives joy (Psalm 19:8; 119:16,92, 111, 143, 174) and promises great reward (Psalm 19:11). It gives strength to the weak (Psalm 119:28) and comfort to the distraught (Psalm 119:76) and guidance to the perplexed (Psalm 119:105) and salvation to the lost (Psalm 119:155; 2 Timothy 3:15). The wisdom of God in Scripture is inexhaustible.
Excerpts taken and edited from John Piper. ©2014 Desiring God Foundation. Weblink
Excerpts taken and edited from Ken Kayce. ©2014 Discover Books Of The Bible. Weblink
Other biblical scriptures agreeing with this sentiment, that is, the scriptures declaring its divine origin and integrity:
Why use Jehovah rather than God as His name?: Gad
The Truth About The Bible – The Author(s) by David Underwood is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
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